Not many in India and particularly in the healthcare industry recognize the importance of health coaching.
Just as a sports coach can help an athlete develop and excel at a sport, a health and wellness coach can help anyone excel at living their life, even — or especially — if they have chronic medical conditions.
The medical fraternity in our country has confined its functionality to diagnosing and treating diseases and their complications. In fact, most lifestyle and psychosomatic diseases can be prevented right in their origin by facilitating healthy behavior, lifestyle modification, and enhancing emotional well-being.
Recently there has been a shift in the paradigm and Doctors have started advising lifestyle modification like eating healthy, become more physically active, and stress management to their patients. But what is more required is the teamwork between Doctor and a certified health and wellness coach.
People tend to hire health coaches to help them with a broad variety of health issues, such as weight loss, stress reduction, the management of chronic conditions, improving diet and exercise, tobacco cessation, addiction, and adjusting to a life-altering health event, like a heart attack.
Health coaching is the use of evidence-based skillful conversation, clinical interventions, and strategies to actively and safely engage client/patients in healthy, sustainable behavior change by challenging a client to develop their inner wisdom, identify their values, and transform their goals into action. You can think of health coaching as sitting at the intersection of health information and behavior change.
Health coaching is a partnership between the coach and the client. The coach guides clients toward the changes that they want to make. The coaching process is similar to talk therapy in that it involves two people discussing ideas and issues, but it is different in that the person who is being coached is in the driver’s seat, creating their goals as well as the strategies on how to arrive at these goals.
Coaches and clients develop a relationship built on trust and respect that allows them to explore clients' values, reasons for change, and what's possible.
A Health Coach helps people discover the “why” behind their desired health change. He empowers people as the experts on their own bodies, minds, and circumstances. He will help people identify challenges and blind spots that are preventing change, and provide support and accountability.
A health coach uses his broad knowledge of diet, fitness, lifestyle change, and emotional well-being to help people navigate a variety of health concerns. They understand how these contributors to health affect the body, which helps them understand and empathize with clients’ health challenges.
A Health Coach works with clients in a group or 1-2-1 setting. The purpose of a health coach is to enable their client to make long-term positive health changes. Instead of treating symptoms, Health Coaches focus on disease prevention, total body health, and getting to the root cause of illness. Health Coaches take a holistic approach to help people make important lifestyle changes to improve their physical and emotional wellbeing, change their habits, and empower themselves to be advocates for their own well-being.
A Health coach can help you make sustainable adjustments that have a major effect on your health. You can't stick to your health goals. A health coach can help you better structure your life to more easily meet your goals — whether you want to control your chocolate cravings or stay with a workout routine.
Health coaches use a client-centered approach to working with people. He is not an expert on what his clients should do. Instead, he act as a partner and facilitator, supporting the clients in taking action, creating plans, and achieving goals based on the clients’ ideas, interests, and experiences. Health coaches work to zero in on your singular strengths, and then help you to engage those strengths in order to reach your health goals. At the same time, health coaches identify your greatest areas of struggle and provide the support needed to overcome those struggles.
A health coach is not just a source of information but a catalyst for transformation. He is a partner, facilitator of change, works on client agenda, makes client responsible for his health, fosters possibilities, focuses on what is right, co-discovers the answers, learns from the client’s story, and makes the client works as hard as he and finally dances with the client.
With a client-centered approach to coaching, the client sets the focus of a session and owns the insights, the actions steps, the work, and the success. This creates a very powerful environment for them to make significant and sustainable changes in their health.
A coaching relationship requires a commitment on the part of the client and open communication between both parties.
The bottom line
Unlike health fads that come and go, health coaching has strong evidence behind it backing its effectiveness for improving health and well-being. Becoming a health coach has been deeply rewarding to me because it is rare in life that you get to promote happiness, build resiliency, save people money, and help people live longer and more fulfilling lives at the same time.
Health coaching change lives.